Q & A with Bernie – June 15, 2015

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Question for Bernie:

Keeping in touch…

Yesterday my husband kept saying, “I am suffering and want to go to hospice…or the hospital.”

When the visiting nurse came, he agreed to go to hospice which I arranged. The day before he did not leave the bed and was extremely uncomfortable even with the oxycodone and oxycontin.

After spending 10 hours at the hospice, when I was ready to leave he asked if I could take him with me because he wanted to go home. I feel heartbroken.

He is on lots of pain meds, and I hope the brain cancer has something to do with the confusion.

He cannot focus well or even write a note.  I want to make the right decision…is the right one to be pain free?

I feel so guilty about making the right or wrong decision. I want him home, but I also want him safe. I am just thinking out loud to you because, again, I know you have the words of wisdom that help me think about it in the correct manner.

With love, and thanks.

Bernie’s Answer:

I think he is ready to go and be free of the pain, but yes, he would still like to be with you.  I think that you can share with him that being at home won’t be the best thing for him due to his intractable pain.  It can be much better managed in hospice care.

Talk about the good times you have shared, and remind him that those times can be relived through memory.  They are still with him, so encourage him to think about those good times when he wants to be home—he can be “home in his mind” by thinking of those good memories.

Think about those times yourself and bring them up with him.  Tell him stories of the past, especially humorous ones you shared together.  You can lift his spirits while hospice helps get his pain under better control.

Remember that feeling guilty about making a life-changing decision like the one you are facing now is a barrier to both his and your own peace of mind.  Banish the idea of “guilt” from your decision-making, and know that your caring, loving heart is now leading the way.  You know that keeping him as pain free and safe as possible means hospice care.  Then, instead of wasting precious energy on a feeling like guilt, that is not any part of the picture at all, you will have that energy to make the remaining time warm, loving, and positive for both of you.

Peace and love,